Founder portrait SciFlow

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Who am I dealing with here? Please introduce yourself and your product shortly

We are Frederik and Carsten, founders of SciFlow, and have known each other for 10 years. Almost as old is the idea for SciFlow; in short: scientific writing and publishing, but extremly easy. In 2009 we thought about starting our own business with SciFlow, but decided to work for Oracle and Capgemini. But we always belived in the idea. The initial spark for SciFlow came when Carsten wrote his dissertation and we found that there is still no solution to simply write and publish scientifically. We believed in our idea and exchanged our jobs for SciFlow. 

Viktor came on board at the beginning of last year. This completes the founding team. Viktor helps us make the vision of a user-friendly program a reality. Already in the beta phase, we talked to over 100 scientists and tested the user experience in SciFlow. 

But you are not the first with that!

Scientific articles have been written for several hundred years. First by hand, then by print, finally with the typewriter and now mainly via Microsoft Word. Word has been around for over 30 years - time for an innovation.

Unlike previous word processing programs, we focus on helping researchers not only with writing but also with publishing. This begins with a simple and clear interface that only offers what researchers really need, no more and no less. 

Feedback is essential for a great release. Getting feedback from others, understanding it quickly and getting it in is easy. In addition, SciFlow makes it easy to publish directly using a pre-formatted PDF. Annoying layout editing is eliminated. 

SciFlow - Why is easy simply good? 

 

What has been your biggest challenge so far? 

For us as a startup it is always important to achieve a lot with little. This means focusing on what really matters, addressing the needs for our customers, i.e. researchers. Before we program a feature, we got feedback on whether the feature helps researchers and what needs to be changed. That way we want to make sure that we create a product that scientists use to write and publish more effectively. 

What is the current progress in your project?

Since we released the beta version in the fall of last year, everything has accelerated enormously. That means we got a lot of feedback from our test users and made many changes. Fortunately, we have a good team that quickly implements the wishes. Thanks to the addition of private investors, we can now take the next team member as a full time position on board. Currently we are looking for a developer in Magdeburg. 

This year will be really exciting! We end the beta phase and plan to go live in April 2017.

Why do you want to found in Magdeburg? What connects you to the city? 

Carsten studied in Magdeburg. Originally we are from Berlin. That is why we get this question quite often. Mageburg attracted us, because there are some excellent specialists trained at the university and in recent past we have felt a real entrepreneurial spirit in Magdeburg. The work of our interns confirmed this impression. Getting to know each other in start-ups seems to be very cool in Magdeburg. We want to contribute to that, which is why we are buildung a Meetup, a kind of community, for all those interested in JavaScript in the region. The first Meetup was booked out completly with 30 people. 

Auch die Fördermöglichkeiten zum Beispiel durch die Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt sind hervorragend. Das Transfer- und Gründerzentrum der Uni Magdeburg trägt auch dazu bei, in dem es Methoden, die im Silicon Valley Standard sind, in den universitären Forschungstransfer integriert und ein super Ansprechpartner für uns ist.

Be honest - How will you be the next Unicorn Business or will we see you soon at the FuckUp Night?

The market is bigger than you would expect. In the area of scientific writing and publishing, more than 25 billion euros are transacted anually. We have a great team, a lot of know-how and have shown in recent months that we can deliver what we promise. In the next step, we want to generate even more users. The Otto-von-Guericke University supports us a lot by providing scientists with our tool for publishing. For us, this is a win-win situation: we receive even more important practical feedback from researchers, and the researchers get to know our software and its benefits.

 

The Team

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In the front: Dr. Carsten Borchert (CEO, Co-Founder) / Frederik Eichler (CTO, Co-Founder)

In the back: Fabian Richter (Freelancer) / Viktor Hahn (UX/UI Designer, Frontend Developer) / Daniel Thyen (Trainee) / Sindhura Gujjula (Master Student)